Learn more about Dr. Michelle Horn, faculty member in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics and Director of Student Education and Clerkships for the Department of Medicine.
What is your professional background?
Growing up in small town Mississippi, I never dreamed I would be doing what I do today. As a child, I remember “playing school” and wanting to be a teacher. Then, in high school, I was able to work with a physician and knew from then on that I wanted to be a doctor. After graduating from Millsaps College, I came to UMMC for medical school and then decided to stay for residency in Med/Peds. Having loved both fields of medicine going through my clerkships as a student, I knew that I couldn’t give up either. In deciding to stay here, I knew that we had strong programs in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics as well as a great Med/Peds program so why would I leave somewhere that I love and that has all I need! After residency, I had the great opportunity to be a Pediatric chief resident which taught me a lot of skills that I still use to this day in regards to education and administration. I then was blessed to have the opportunity to stay here as faculty. From small town Mississippi, I never once thought about leaving because Mississippi is Home!
Tell us about what you do at UMMC.
One of the other reasons I stayed at UMMC after residency was to have the opportunity to take care of both adult and pediatric patients in both the inpatient and outpatient setting while also getting to work with students and residents. That reason for staying has far exceeded the expectations I had when I first came on as faculty almost 15 years ago. Between working in the hospital on wards, seeing my patients in private clinic, teaching medicine and med/peds residents in residency clinic, and taking care of the children of Mississippi in the Pediatric Emergency Room, I get to come to work every day and do what I initially wanted to do when I decided to stay here at UMMC. The added bonus is I get to, in some small way, contribute to the future of patient care by the interactions I get to have daily with trainees – both medical students and residents! When I decided to stay here, I never dreamed I would get to play a role in medical education, but I am so glad each and every day that I do. As the internal medicine clerkships director, one of the greatest things about my job is getting to see medical students advance throughout the clinical years in the IM clerkship and sub-internship and then getting to train them as residents and ultimately getting to work with them as colleagues!
What advice would you give to someone pursuing medicine today?
Always do what you love! If you have a passion for something, even on the days when there may just be a tiny flicker, there is still that spark that will always turn in to a flame!
What do you like most about UMMC?
The people! I am so blessed to be a part of taking care of the people of Mississippi while also getting to work with students, residents, nurses, ancillary staff, and other faculty members that are so dedicated to the same mission – a healthier Mississippi.
Tell us something about yourself that people may not know.
Well, some people already know that I LOVE Sports! Growing up, that’s what we did – from playing basketball to going to football and baseball games. We would spend summers picking peas and selling them so that we could go on vacation before school started back. Most of those vacations were spent watching my uncle play minor league baseball at places all over the country. Those summers taught me hard work but are some of my best memories! In my love for sports, I played basketball throughout high school and then played at Millsaps. Again, I got to see many places that I would not have otherwise and taught me the value of hard work. I still love watching my kids play sports and going to a baseball game is still one of my favorite past times! One of my goals is to be able to visit each major league park!
You’ve got 4 kids at home. What advice do you have for balancing work and family?
Giving advice on work-life balance is a difficult question because I haven’t really ever thought about it. It’s just something that I’ve always done (sometimes probably not as well as others). If I had to give any, it would be to have a GREAT support system. The old saying, “Behind every good man is a good woman.” Well, it also works the other way. My husband, Adam, keeps me grounded and provides such great support for me and our kids each and every day. We have long told our kids that mommy goes to work “to help sick people” so there are many times when my kids will tell me good-bye on my way to work and ask me “Mommy, are you going to help sick people?” I think keeping them involved in what you do helps to keep them connected to you each day and ease the pain of when you aren’t able to be there. I’m also a planner so making the most of my time at work and being efficient with that time gives me more time to spend with my family. It’s not easy, but like I said before, always do what you love and always spend time with those you love!